2B.6 The Expert to Novice Spectrum: An Eye-Tracking Evaluation of How User Experience Shapes Interactions with a Climate Decision Support System

Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:45 AM
Room 10AB (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Lindsay C. Maudlin, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC; and K. S. McNeal, C. N. Davis, H. D. Aldridge, R. P. Boyles, and R. Atkins

A web-based decision support system (DSS), the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation Project (PINEMAP) DSS, was developed to provide climate information for forestry stakeholders in the Southeast United States. The usability of the PINEMAP DSS is assessed through tracking the eye movements of participants as they interact with the various tools within the DSS. Two study populations are used: the first includes 30 forestry professionals (18 males and 12 females; 21 to 65 years old; highest degrees included 6 undergraduate degrees, 17 master’s degrees, and 6 doctoral degrees), and the second includes 12 undergraduate students from introductory physical sciences courses (4 males and 8 females; 18 to 21 years old; grade levels included 2 freshmen, 8 sophomores, and 2 juniors). In addition to eye-tracking data, each participant in both study populations answered a questionnaire and completed tasks related to the PINEMAP DSS. This study aims to address how user experience (measured by a combination of education level, work experience, and previous exposure to climate information) impacts the ways in which a user navigates and views the climate information within the PINEMAP DSS and the user’s ability to successfully complete tasks based on the information. By studying the differences between those with little experience (novices) and those with more experience (experts), recommendations can be provided to DSS developers to create DSSs that help novices perform more like experts and therefore better understand the climate information needed for their decision-making roles.
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